Taking care of turtles will require that you pay more attention to details than you would do taking care of other pets.
Is it difficult to take care of turtles? The answer is no.
It is much easier when you know what to do and also after setting up the environment your turtle will live.
Making sure that you actually chose a turtle as a pet is also important considering how similar they are to tortoises. A turtle retailer in your locality should help you here.
However, the most noticeable difference between a turtle and a tortoise is that turtles have feet with webs which aid them in swimming while tortoises do not. This is what you should look out for if you are confused at any point.
How to Take Care of Your Turtle Pets:
1) Get a Terrarium:
Image : inhabitat.com
Terrariums are sold in pet shops. One mistake you should avoid making is getting a terrarium the size of your turtle or almost the size of your turtle.
You should choose a terrarium bigger than your turtle. In fact, the bigger the size the better.
When setting up the terrarium, make sure that there are wet and dry spaces where your turtle can move to comfortably when he wants to. The dry areas could be made with stones or hard material which are easy to clean.
Using wood to make the dry area can cause problems to your turtle as the fungus that will grow on it after a while will be eaten by your pet. This fungus can cause your pet turtle to be sick.
a) Change the water regularly: One thing that will really determine the health of your turtle is how often you change the water in the terrarium. Since turtles defecate in the water, it gets dirty quickly.
It is really important that the water is changed a few times a week, say once every 3 days.
Another important thing is the need for a good filtration system. You can find these filtration systems in pet shops. This will help in keeping the water clean until you change it.
The terrarium should be washed a few times a year. You could use soap with a sponge to scrub it clean. After washing it, return the turtle to his home fixing everything the way they were.
Also note, the water put in the terrarium should not be treated water rather it should be fresh water.
b) Maintain appropriate Temperature: Turtles spend 12-14 hours daily basking under the sun in their natural habitat.
This shows they need a good amount of heat daily to grow well.
You don’t need to put your turtle under the sun but rather you should get a UV lamp with a timer. It should be kept facing the terrarium and the time set to go off when it’s 12 to 14 hours.
2) Feeding your turtle: You have to pay attention here not to overfeed your turtle. Turtles should be fed a few times a week, say once in 3 days.
After feeding, you might want to take out your turtle from the habitat since turtles defecate not long after eating. If you practice taking out your turtle after he has just been fed, it will reduce the amount of waste in the tank.
Some foods that turtles eat are crabs, jellyfish, sea grasses, some vegetables, etc.
a) What to feed your turtle: What you feed your pet will largely depend on the breed of turtle you have. Some turtles are carnivores (feeding on animals) while some are omnivores (feeding on both animals and plants).
You may give your pet anything other than his natural food. It’s most likely that he will consume it but that could have an adverse effect on the health of your pet. In the future, it may even result in early death.
There are other foods that are absolutely fine for your pet, you should ask for advice from the pet store attendant.
b) How to feed your turtle: It will depend on what kind of food you are giving your pet. You could just through in a worm into the tank but it won’t be nice to just through a food supplement into the tank.
Some foods should be put in a small ceramic or plastic container and placed on the dry part of the terrarium.
What Your Turtle Pet wants:
Turtles are not like most pets that are really comfortable with human company. They like to be left alone and this you should do sometimes. Leave your pet to be, especially when they hide in their shells, it is a clear sign that they want to be left alone at that time.
Also, you could leave your turtle to walk around the yard sometimes but pay attention to the temperature outside. It should not be too cold.
It may look as if much is demanded when taking in a turtle as a pet, but it’s quite fun when you are familiar with what is required after some time of taking care of your new pet. A local turtle retailer will be of great help during this time.